Local Governance

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‘Together We Govern’

“The purpose of governance is to provide confident, strategic leadership and to create robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance.”

“Boards must be ambitious for all children and infused with a passion for education and a commitment to continuous school improvement that enables the best possible outcomes. It should be driven by inquisitive, independent minds and through conversations focussed on the key strategic issues which are conducted with humility, good judgement, resilience and determination.”

DfE Governance Handbook, March 2019


All Transform Schools have a local governance structure designed to meet the needs of the school. These local governing boards fulfil the same core functions of the Trust Board but for their own school, i.e.

  • ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
  • overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.


For Transform Governors we look for the following characteristics as we believe these will help them be successful in their role:

Transform Characteristics

“The purpose of governance is to provide confident, strategic leadership and to create robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance.”

Governance Framework and Models of Governance at Transform

To view this document, please click here.

Leadership Development for Governors

In 2017/2018, we piloted our very own Leadership Development Programme for Governors. We commissioned Fiona Moor, INOJI – a Leadership Development and Talent specialist with a passion for enabling people and teams to be their best.

What our Governors said about the programme:

‘Understanding the impact I have within the Governing Body as a Community Governor’
‘Self-reflection has helped me think about my own CPD and how this will support the school’
‘Developing relationships with other Governors – getting to know them more’
‘How to get more out of the ‘small’ relationships’
‘Good to hear from other Governors within the Trust – their stories and what happened’.
‘How can I develop the Governing Body to best serve the school’
‘Space to think and discuss how to build strategy’

Leadership Programmes for Governors:

Both these programmes are delivered by Fiona Moore, INOJI and are linked to our Future Engage Deliver (FED) leadership programmes which are based on Steve Radcliffe’s model of leadership and book: Leadership Plain and Simple.

To view our Governor Training Handbook 2018-2019, please click here.

Local Leaders of Governance (LLG) – 2018/2019

In June 2019, we awarded Local Leader of Governance status to:

  • Rob Denzel, Chair of Burford Primary School
  • Stewart Powell, Chair of Whitegate Primary School
  • Jackie Colley, Vice Chair and Safeguarding Governor Whitegate Primary School

A further Chair of Governors from one of our Teaching School Members, Raph Richards, Djanogly Strelley, was also awarded LLG status.


Each year, or on appointment, we ask all Governors to complete a range of compliance documentation, this includes:

  • Their eligibility to become a school governor
  • To declare all interests – pecuniary, business, relationships, third party transactions
  • To sign and comply with our Code of Conduct

In addition, we ask all Governors to complete or review their skills every two years and we maintain an attendance register of all governor meetings. To view our Registers of Interests click here or Governor attendance here.

Transform Support

We produce a range of documents to support our Governors in their work, this includes:

  • A simple summary and analysis of Governors skills to help plan training and development.
  • An annual planner – setting out the range of key tasks and dates.
  • An annual training offer – a mixture of training events across 4 venues designed to support Governors in deepening their understanding of the Trust and School Governance, Finance, School Monitoring, Special Educational Needs and Disability, Safeguarding, Complaints and Health & Safety; together with a number of other online courses including GDPR and a suite of safeguarding modules.
  • Membership to the National Governors’ Association for all Governors.
  • Statutory policies and Trust documents checklist.

Governor of the Year Award 2018-2019

Our Trustees agreed that there were three worthy winners:

I would like to nominate Arshed Ahmed, Chair at Zaytouna. Arshed reluctantly took up the post as Chair of Governors at Zaytouna following the resignation of their Chair October 2018.  He has been involved in Zaytouna since 2012, joining the Governing Body in 2014. As Chair, he has stepped into the role and has led the Governors on a journey since joining Transform, following a very difficult history of the school. Recently, despite being poorly, and having to cancel a work trip to London, he took on Ofsted!  He was superb in how he described Zaytouna’s journey and the passion that he and the Governors have for Zaytouna and their children. Everything that has been asked of him in his new role, he has stepped up too. His first inspection and what an absolute superstar!
Nominated by Jill Wilkinson, NLG, supporting Zaytouna Governors

I would like to nominate ShellyAnn Ellis, one of our parent governors at Sneinton St Stephen’s. ShellyAnn is a great listener and listens carefully to the views of parents and summarises them to Governors at a committee level. Parents find ShellyAnn approachable and empathetic. One parent has told me how much they appreciate Shelly’s support. Recently, ShellyAnn encouraged parents to offer their thanks to the staff as part of our World Class Celebration. The parents’ words were so humbling and the team will always remember this surprise. With great confidence (although she explained she was extremely nervous) ShellyAnn dedicated a song to the school ‘I believe the children are the future…’ This wasn’t easy for ShellyAnn but she has most certainly made the staff team and parents feel appreciated. I strongly recommend ShellyAnn for a Transform Governors Award. (She may even sing for us too- a true role model).
Nominated by Kelly Lee, Headteacher, Sneinton

I have worked with Les Sullivan for 7 years now and throughout that time I have greatly valued his support, particularly when faced with challenging issues.  He selflessly gives up his time to attend school frequently to chair meetings, meet with parents and staff, be part of panels for interviews, conduct monitoring work and to watch various performances and assemblies.  All the children, parents and staff know Les and how much he cares about the children.  They know that they can speak to him if they have any concerns and he is always available for me, day or night should I need any help or advice.  I really can’t thank him enough for everything that he does.
Nominated by Lee Noble, Exec Head, Highbank

Governor Forum – Safeguarding

We hold termly Safeguarding Governor Briefings in Nottingham and Derby. These briefings are a valuable forum for sharing updates and staying informed on all things Safeguarding as well as providing an opportunity to update their knowledge and understanding of changes in policy and practice that impact their role in school.

Clerking at Transform

At Transform we value and invest in our professional Clerks. They provide an invaluable contribution to the efficiency, effectiveness, productivity and compliance of our different Governing Boards across Governance and Safeguarding. Our Clerks work closely and in partnership with our Trustees, Chairs, CEO and Headteachers to ensure they are focused on their core strategic priorities. Our Clerks provides expert advice and guidance on a range of statutory duties and other functions and deliver high quality administrative support that makes everything work smoothly.

What does Clerking look like at Transform?
Click here to view Clerking ‘on a page’

For more information/queries, please contact our Clerks: 
Sheila Laithwaite sheila.laithwaite@transformtrust.co.uk
Mary Farmer mary.farmer@transformtrust.co.uk
Mike Armstrong (Ravensdale Junior) m.armstrong@ravensdalej.derby.sch.uk
Deborah Gabbitas (Ashbrook Junior School) deborah.gabbitas@transformtrust.co.uk

Interested in joining Transform Trust?